Research shows that girls often stop “seeing” themselves in the fields of math and science by the time they reach high school. To combat this phenomenon, SWE created a collection of outreach programs that seek to change the current perspective of STEM fields among girls and their adult advocates. The long-term goal of SWE’s K-12 Outreach programming is to open pathways for girls to become engineers and create gender equity in the field.
The SWENext program offers a great opportunity for students to join SWE and provides resources for parents and educators to engage girls in engineering and technology. Membership in SWENext is free and girls 13-18 can sign up on their own; girls under 13 are allowed to join when the parent agrees to be the primary contact. Current benefits to members, families, and educators are as follows:
- High school awards and recognition programs.
- High school leadership training, networking and outreach.
- Meet ups and hands-on events at our conferences around the world.
- SWENext Clubs and club challenges.
- Monthly newsletters with downloadable engineering activities
- Up-to-date information about outreach events (camps, competitions, etc.) hosted by SWE and its partners.
- A catalog of available scholarships for engineering school offered by SWE and partner organizations.
- Best practices on applying for scholarships and internships.
- Quarterly learning opportunities, where engineers from various disciplines discuss the work that they do.
- Resources for families and educators that can help effectively promote a career in engineering to their daughters and/or female engineering students.
Collegiate Leadership Institute (CLI)
The goal of the CLI is to identify, support and better prepare female collegiate engineering students to become the leaders of tomorrow including the following programmatic goals:
- Help students to confidently express their value to potential employers.
- Evaluate leadership strengths and weaknesses.
- Effectively collaborate with peers in the workforce.
- Build self-confidence and resilience in the face of adversity.
- Provides opportunities to network with peers, role models and industry professionals
- Develop the key skills, knowledge, and capacity to prepare them to be global leaders in engineering careers.
Be recognized as a supporter and developer of collegiate women engineers and technologists. Your organization will be recognized on all materials for the participants throughout the year as well as through signage at the CLI kick-off at SWE’s Annual Conference. Gain even more recognition for your organization by providing mentors to the CLI participants.
SWENext Community Award
This award encourages students to envision solutions to problems within their communities using science, technology, engineering or math (STEM), and show a capacity to pursue STEM careers. These awards are given to SWENexters in their freshman or sophomore year of high school who have been actively engaged in the SWE community, have a solid understanding of engineering principles, play a role in serving their own community, and demonstrate strong leadership skills. Sponsors will receive name recognition on the award itself, signage at the event, and the opportunity for a booth at the Outreach Expo.
SWENext Global Innovator Award
Available for up to 5 students each year per sponsorship, the SWENext Global Innovator Award recognizes engineering excellence in female students in their junior or senior year of high school across the country. Sponsors will receive name recognition on the award, promotions and signage.
High School Leadership Academy
The SWENext High School Leadership Academy (SHLA) provides custom programming for up to 100 high school students selected for their leadership potential. Participants learn about college admissions in engineering, receive mentorship training, and connect with women in college and industry. Sponsors may be able to participate in a panel, facilitate a company tour, or workshop/hands-on activity (activities must be approved by SWE).
Be That Engineer Brochure
The Society of Women Engineers’ “Be That Engineer” brochure describes what an engineer is and why girls should consider engineering as a career. It goes on to demonstrate how SWENext, SWE’s membership for pre-college students can help. The brochure concludes with a “Pick Your Dream” section that features real SWE members in twenty one different engineering disciplines.
Brochures are printed in runs of 10,000 and distributed at events and festivals, upon request to SWE sections/members, and through our SWENext mailing list.
Outreach Expo at Annual Conference
The Outreach EXPO takes place on the Saturday of Annual Conference and serves girls, families, educators and SWE members. Between 1500 and 2000 participants are expected to attend. Exhibitors are asked to share information about careers, engineering clubs, camps, after-school programs, competitions, best practices and outreach grants. Exhibitors are encouraged to have a hands-on component.